The rising level of gun violence in 2022 has caused widespread concern among citizens, and New York has once again witnessed yet another murder, this time at the hands of an officer.
Last week, an 18-year-old man was killed by a correctional officer in New York.
The reason for the shooting? A water gun.
According to police reports, 18-year-old Raymond Chaluisant shot a car with a toy water gun. Officer Dion Middleton, 45, off duty, shot Chaluisant with his own gun.
Sources say Middleton has shot more than once.
Police say it is unclear who Chaluisant was referring to.
He was shot in the face around 01:30 am while sitting on the passenger side of an Acura.
After the shooting
Raymond Chaluisant was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead. Meanwhile, according to the Attorney General’s Office, Middleton showed up for work hours later and was arrested.
The prosecution is pursuing the case over Middleton’s employment as a law enforcement agent.
Police found a grenade at the scene but determined that Chaluisant was shot almost half a mile away on Morris Avenue and the Cross Bronx Expressway.
The “lethal” weapon
Police found a toy gun shooting water-filled gel beads near the shooting.
Additionally, police sources claimed that Chaluisant fired an “Orbeez” pistol, which looks like a pistol, and fired gel water beads with a spring-loaded air pump.
On Friday, police tweeted that BB guns are now considered airguns and are illegal in New York.
“Bead blasters shoot gel water bears propelled by a spring-loaded air pump, making them an air rifle. Air rifles are a violation in NYC and are unlawful to possess,” tweeted NYPD News.
“Violators found in possession of these will be issued a criminal summon & the weapon will be confiscated.”
Middleton works in training at the NYPD Rodman’s Neck shooting range, where he reportedly went to work after filming.
Police located him through surveillance, investigation and surveillance of his vehicle.
Middleton was arrested on Friday while working at Rodman’s Neck.
A New York union attorney said Middleton saw a passenger in the car shake his hand after being stabbed with what he described as “looks like glass.”
“I’m trying to provide context,” attorney Joey Jackson explained over Middleton’s initial court appearance.
“That context would suggest to the court at the time my client discharged a single round, he was doing so under the belief that he was in immediate fear of death of his life.”
The killer was charged with murder, manslaughter and possession of criminal weapons.
Prosecutors said Dion Middleton told investigators he hadn’t seen anyone hold a gun or heard gunfire.
“He also stated that was not injured and was not hurt and he was not shot,” said Justin Siebel of the state attorney general’s office.
“The defendant then continued walking on his regular course and did not at any point stop and call the police or inform anybody.”
The Chaluisant family
Jiraida Esquilin, 29, Chaluisant’s older sister, said her brother was involved in a shootout with neighborhood friends on a hot summer night.
“I can’t believe a corrections officer killed my brother,” said Esquilin. “Everything nowadays is a rage thing.”
“They were just having fun. It’s a nerf gun that shoots water,” she added. “The whole neighborhood was having a water gun fight. It was 90 degrees.”
Jiraida Esquilin said her family is still mourning her father, who died five months ago.
She also said that her mother could not identify her mortally wounded son and that he was shot in the chin at close range.
“My brother was well-known and well-loved by everyone in that neighborhood,” Esquilin said.
“He was just hanging out and having a good time.”
Although the family doesn’t know who Chaluisant was with, she had previously told her mother that he was going to McDonald’s.
Raymond Chaluisant’s body was found half a mile from the crime scene. He was unconscious in the passenger seat of a silver Acura when the police arrived.
Police did not release the name of the driver, a 22-year-old acquaintance of Chaluisant’s Yonkers.
“I can’t believe they just drove him and left him there,” Esquilin said of the Acura driver.
Chaluisant’s family was surprised to see Middleton return to work after the young man was shot.
“He did not deserve this, especially from a whole correction officer that was off duty,” said Esquilin.
“And then for him to go to work, as if nothing happened – it’s mind blowing. He basically had no remorse because you’re going into work the next day knowing you shot an 18-year-old little boy.”